Spring Fling


Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” ~Robin Williams


I’m feeling especially rejuvenated with the arrival of spring this year. Maybe it was the record breaking warming trend (before the actual first day of spring) that put me in such an excited state! I’m sure that has a lot to do with it! Even more so, I think it’s the promise of new beginnings that spring brings each year. Come on in and find out “what’s new” in our little corner of the world and check out some inspiring farmgirl sister “UP-DO’S “inside and out!


Just in our little household alone spring changes abound. My husband was laid off in December which gave us some UN-expected but welcomed family time over the holidays. It also gave him a lot of time with his mother (who turns 90 April 9th) during her hip surgery recovery in the hospital and the nursing home which we are happy to say she graduated from! Interviewing for several jobs at once is a juggling act no doubt about it, but we are staying positive and holding out for a good fit! Any and all farmgirl prayers are welcome and appreciated! Do you plan for rainy days like this? We planned ahead in case something might happen with his job. So many companies have been unstable since the bottom fell out of the financial world a few years back we figured we’d better plan for the best and prepare for the worst.
Often, the worst is really the “best “disguised as the worst don’t ya think?

Another “new” thing that’s happening is that our “always homeschooled ” daughter who will be a freshmen next year has been accepted to a local Charter High School! This is new for me too sisters! I suddenly feel like a mom who is about to put her kindergartener on the bus for the first time only she’s 14 and ready to conquer the world! I’m as excited for her as she is. I know in my heart she is ready for this change and I can hardly wait to watch her life unfold next year. I know it won’t be “all rosy “. It can’t be. I mean, we are talking about teenaged girls, teenaged boys, teen DRAMA! I’m as ready as I can be for that! However, I’m not quite ready to hang up my homeschooling hat for good! Our 16 year old son wants to continue homeschooling through high school so I’ve got a couple more years of “service “before I can retire from that profession completely!

So, what do I do when the DRAMA level rises in our house?

I CREATE!I gave our old Pottery Barn T.V. Amour an UP DO! It’s now my Modern Day FARM Pantry! To coax it into its next ten years of service I gave it a fresh coat of “farmgirl red” (Ralph Lauren Chimaya Red). Ever since I began cooking with more wholesome ingredients I’ve felt I needed to address the lack of storage in our kitchen. I had a buffet in our dining room that stored large serving trays, linens, candles, and misc. mismatched dishes but we don’t entertain that often and what I really needed was dry goods storage and a place to store my every day baking and serving dishes with-in easy reach!

I LOVE Anchor Hocking’s glass storage jars. If you’re an impatient farmgirl like me and you don’t want to wait to find vintage or antique jars you can find them at Target, Walmart and Kmart very reasonably priced. Or, you can order online directly from Anchor Hocking. I was also lucky to be able gather some of the taller Ball storage jars with lids from my mother in laws farmhouse and put them to use again!

The “Vintage Milk Crates” aren’t really vintage they are from Target but they were the perfect size and price for what I needed. You can remove the liners for washing too! Our teens are tall. We all agree that this system is much easier than rummaging around the deep, dark recesses of a lower kitchen cabinet for a snack! The chalkboard and ball jar labels are Martha Stewart and are available at Staples.
You know how much I LOVE re-purposing but I’m not the only farmgirl who’s been busy in the UP-DO department!

I’m excited to share two fantastic re-purposing projects with you that were shared with me via email and the Farmgirl Friday blog hop I host at Dandelion House each Friday. The first one is from sister Brenda of Ladybug Dreams. She has been making over a craft room in her home and posting her progress along the way on her blog. She entered her darling Gun Case re-do on last weeks hop! I left her a comment asking if she would allow me to share it with you and she kindly said YES! Here’s the before with the door open. There’s even a little drop down drawer on the bottom!

And the AFTER!

The crisp black and white looks so fresh and clean against the bright SPRINGgreen wall and all those colors in her quilt fabric just sing inside their new home! Great work Brenda!

Vivian Netris (Neta) ( and her hubby too ) is another farmgirl at heart who has a knack for re-purposing. After I blogged about my future ” backyard flower farm ” and ” one day ” garden room made from salvaged windows and wood Neta sent me an email with images of her ” garden room ” and chicken coop made from ” pieces of the past “! She too has given me permission to share them here with you! Cuz, well that’s just how we farmgirls are!

I am so inspired by what Neta and her husband have created in their backyard. It’s truly a work of garden art!

Here’s the long view of Neta’s Garden Room created with salvaged windows and wood.

A closer look inside the ” walls ” of this open air dining room has me wanting to get inside to see what other treasures await!

Neta’s love of the outdoors and her appreciation for nature are evident on each hand painted window.

Her creativity just brims inside this re-purposed garden shed doesn’t it?

Neta told me this image of her was taken after celebrating a friend’s birthday in the “garden room “.  Her cleverness doesn’t stop here. In fact I have a hunch that this is the place she dreams up all of her creative ideas while watching her chickens hunt and peck in their darling coop and run!

Neta is not only resourceful and talented, she’s also generous! Just look at these tote bags she makes from chicken feed sacks! She sells them at her local farmer’s market. All proceeds go to the local homeless shelter.

How could anyone of us NOT be having a ” fling with spring ” after soaking up all these lovely inspirations? Big thanks to Brenda and Neta for sharing their projects with us!

If you’re like most farmgirls, you have your hands in a lot of things and spring can send you into a tailspin pretty quick. After all, there’s so much we WANT to do and we’ve been waiting all darned winter to do it! But…spring is a time for hope and renewal and remembering and honoring the gifts we have been given. Life can be challenging for us all at times. One way to help you “make it through “a hard time is to get outside and let nature do her magic on your soul! Take off your I-pod and listen to the birds sing. They make a wonderful quoir! As you putter around your yard or farm (unless you are Rebekah our city farmgirl who is deathly afraid of snakes and spiders) relax and breathe in the fresh scent of the warming earth. Get up close and re-discover your plants and shrubs as they re-emerge for another season. Give thanks for these (not so small) daily miracles. Let them soothe your soul. Then smile~ you’ll just feel better! I promise!

Until our nest shoreline visit~



P.S. What can we do to help our fellow sister Rebekah? She’s about to move to a Farm for heavens sakes! 🙂 I always get such a chuckle out of her posts!

  1. Dolly Sarrio says:

    I so enjoyed this so much, in fact I enjoy all of your posts! Thanks Deb for sharing. The family is in my prayers for Husband’s Mother a speedy recovery, for you and your daughter’s new school adventure and for our country’s economic future…Also such post of Farmgirl Fridays sure do motivate me love it.
    Hugs to you and family.

    Thanks so much my sister in the south!  Hugs right back! xo Deb

  2. Teri says:


    You are an inspiration! Full of wisdom and creativity! I look forward dreaming about my future projects when the kids are older and I can focus more on the house instead of them! Kudos to Nicolette and to you for embracing her new adventure, high school!

    Much love to you!
    Cousin Teri in Napa

    Hi Teri! It’s just like us girls to want to be in too many "seasons " at once…Stick with the kids for now…the house can wait. Ours has ( still is ) and life still goes on! Only now I get little flashes of things the kids said and did when they were smaller that you couldn’t have pried out of me while I was consumed with their every need… Parenthood is the best job of all! Much love to you and the fam! Sure miss you!

    xo Deb

  3. Jan says:

    I am so relieved to hear that SOMEONE is having delightful spring weather SOMEWHERE. Right now, we are having high winds and pouring rain and have set a record for rainfall in the month of March..
    Loved seeing your fantastic hutch project! Such a great job, and nothing warms the heart like a nice organization scheme…
    Thank you for sharing Brenda’s re-purposing of the gun cabinet. What a GREAT idea.. Also, Neta has made a wonderful kingdom of her own. It just makes me want to go over and sit for a spell and look through her windows! She is one crafty little chick with her tote bag idea..
    PS: I am sending you some positive energy in the direction of your handsome Yankee and his job search! I think that there is a blessing in that he has been able to help his dear momma.
    Keep enjoying your spring!

    Happy Spring Jan!

    Oh, it is an exciting time of year isn’t it? I’m loving the " new " organization in my kitchen too! What a difference it has made! You stay warm and dry…April is almost here!!! I loved sharing our sisters projects. So much cleverness out there to grab and run with!

    Thanks for the " good energy " too! We need it! xo Deb

  4. Sandi says:

    I’m sending good thoughts your way right across the bay! Something wonderful will to you because you’re asking for it! I too haven’t been able to find a job where I kept trying, but what came to me was a wonderful opportunity to have total flexibility doing what I love! Keep us posted! Maybe you could let us know where to purchase those darling chicken totes that Neta sells, I’d like to support her!

    Thank you Sandi! Congratrulations on your " new " job and best of luck! I’ll see if Neta’s bags are available for purchase!  xo Deb

  5. Joan says:

    Oh Deb, you never cease to amaze, entertain and spark my heart, mind, soul!!! and this one is no exception. THANK YOU!!! Sure do feel for you with your daughter going on to school outside of the home – but obviously you and she has done a very good job preparing her to move on. The pictures of Netris’ farm has now given me even more ideas – oh will there be enough time/energy to make my little oasis? and the picture of the bags – I had seen a similar picture somewhere but then I miss placed it and so want to use up – well at least some of our bags – and would love to know if there are instructions? if not I will try my best to emulate the great idea. Thanks again and Happy Spring.

    Dear Joan, You are so kind! Thank YOU! I’m happy you were sparked! I love to get people going! 🙂 Yes, as for letting my sweet girl out into the big ( not always bad ) world.. I just know I have to let her go and have the experience, learn and grow. I have faith we’ve done our job in the early years and now my little birdie wants to  fly on her own…She reminds me of someone else I know… Hmmmm? How can I possibly stand in her way? I’ll ask Neta about instructions for her tote bags for ya!

    Happy Spring my dear! xo Deb

  6. Brenda says:

    Thank you Deb for how sweetly you added my make-over into your post. But Neta’s are is inviting beyond belief. I so would like to put something together like that. A potter shed is on our list to do and I have already picked up some old windows but hubs did not draw out anything as cute as Neta’s. And as I mentioned when I first saw your red pantry, I LOVE it! Love how you have everything in place and looking so farm girly too. Today, we have had rain, thunder, sleet, snow and now rain again. I did not go work in the flower beds when it warmed up because here in Michigan you can take a chance of killing anything coming up to soon if you uncover it to early. So I am sticking to my sewing, crocheting and household business….Waiting. Best blessing to your hubs and family, have faith and that perfect job with come true. Thanks for sharing!!!

    You’re welcome Brenda! I loved sharing it. I think your gun case turned out teriffic! Good for you for getting your very own craft room together! I think your weather is headed our way. I heard rain and possible snow tomorrow here! Brrr… Thanks for the good job wishes and best to you in the garden this year! It’s been a funny spring already! xo Deb

  7. Victoria says:

    Oh Deb…hearing you talk about your homeschooled daughter going off to school (boohoo), reminds me so much of my daughter. She is homeschooling four boys!! When her oldest decided he would like to try a charter middle school, it was total trauma! My son-in-love even stayed home from work to take my grandson to his "first" day of school! My daughter cried her eyes out! But they have all adjusted. It will work out, my dear, it will all work out.

    Dear Victoria, I can only imagine " our first day " will be a tear -filled day too! Your good thoughts are greatly appreciated! xo Deb.. Give your daughter ( and son in love ) a pat on the back for us too!

  8. Julia says:

    Ah!! What wonderful pictures! Gets the inspiration juices going! LOVE your new ‘pantry’! The red paint it wonderful! My spring time project, once March, which is going out like a hormonal lion, is gone with the torrential rains, a new greenhouse/folly will be constructed with old windows! Can’t hardly wait!

    Oh how fun Julia! Promise to send us some pictures??? We must show off your greenhouse/folly as soon as it is finished! Happy Spring my dear! xo Deb

  9. Nancy says:

    Debbie, what fabulous ideas! I love, love, love the garden room!!!!!! Thank you for sharing!


    Dear Nancy, You bet… I loved sharing them!

    Thanks for reading! xo Deb

  10. Mary Frances says:

    Ya know, I may or may not use any of your ideas this month, BUT I can offer prayers and enjoy the thoughts and blessings you have shared with me. Each time I read your Beach Farmgirl blogs it feels like I just experienced an oxygen infusion. Keep writing and know that we are with you all the way!

    Dear Mary, Thank you for the prayers, the kind words and for reading! Love it!

    xo Deb

  11. Peggy Smith says:

    I love reading your letters. You give me inspiration so often .As I was mowing the grass yesterday, I thought about all that Mary Jane has brought into my life and just thinking of all the farmgirls that I don’t know but has made such a differnce in my life, I Thank god for that every day.
    You and your family will be in my Prayers.
    I have a question about your cabinet you just painted red. I have a hutch that I would love to paint. I bought it many years ago, it is pine and stained a fruitwood color. How did you redo yours ? Do you have to take the finish off ?
    I appreciate any help.

    Hi there Peggy!   I too have had the exact same feeling of gratefulness about MJF while mowing the lawn! 🙂 We are a lucky bunch of  farmgirls aren’t we? 

    My cabinet : I DID NOT even sand the thing that’s how impatient I was about getting started. The surface was very smooth so it really didn’t need sanding. If it were a dresser or buffet where the surfaces would be getting used daily, I would have sanded lightly then painted with a satin finish paint/primer in one. So many manufactuers make paint and primer together now which is perfect for furniture painting. If you feel your piece has a heavy coating of varnish ,sand the entire surface with fine grade sand paper, just enough to gently disturb the finish then wipe it down with a tack cloth and paint away!  I did two coats on my cabinet because I wanted a solid red effect.

    I DID NOT seal it… The satin finish of the paint offers plenty of sheen and protection. Good luck with your project and thanks for the prayers too!

    Blessings! xo Deb



  12. Deb, thanks again for sharing my pics of garden shed and chicken feed bags. So glad they inspire others to reuse. I love love love the gun cabinet redo. Now I want my workshop shed back so that I can do something like that with my material. Right now I have all of my material in dresser drawers I found in someones trash, brought home cleaned and painted. But I like the glass door so that you can see what you got. Also, I am sending prayers your way that your husband be blessed with the perfect job for him and that yall are blessed this year beyond measure. AMEN!

    Hi Neta! It was my pleasure! I love what you did in your garden AND your tote bags too!  I loved Brenda’s gun case re-do too! So bright and cheery.  It’s just great that we have " this space " to share such inspiring ideas!  Thanks so much for the prayers and blessings. Hugs! Deb

  13. Deb, thanks again for sharing my pics of garden shed and chicken feed bags. So glad they inspire others to reuse. I love love love the gun cabinet redo. Now I want my workshop shed back so that I can do something like that with my material. Right now I have all of my material in dresser drawers I found in someones trash, brought home cleaned and painted. But I like the glass door so that you can see what you got. Also, I am sending prayers your way that your husband be blessed with the perfect job for him and that yall are blessed this year beyond measure. AMEN!

    Hi Neta! It was my pleasure! I love what you did in your garden AND your tote bags too!  I loved Brenda’s gun case re-do too! So bright and cheery.  It’s just great that we have " this space " to share such inspiring ideas!  Thanks so much for the prayers and blessings. Hugs! Deb

  14. Shery says:

    Your farmgirl friends sure put a lot of hours into their garden and coop projects. Those hours will be multiplied many times over in how much they enjoy the fruit of their labor!

    Speaking of labor. Homeschooling moms amaze me. What a true labor of love. YOU have to keep your own level of education current to teach kids today. Gads, I KNOW I wouldn’t measure up as a teacher. Your daughter has had such a huge advantage and solid foundation. No doubt, she’ ready for the world. I bet she’ll experience some real eye-openers too that will make her all the more grateful for her wholesome upbringing and home life. Well done Mom… & Dad!

    Your re-purposed kitchen cubby will be a busy place I’m sure. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Hi Shery! They sure did! Thanks for the vote of confidence for us homeschooling moms. It truly is a labor of love! The rewards for this lifestyle make it more than worthwhile. It’s those eye- openers that have me worried Shery… It’s like pulling the curtain open on the whole wide world all at once! YIKES! I have faith in her, it’s the rest of this crazy world I have my doubts about. You can imagine the sorts of " talks " we have been having around here!!! Dating, wardrobe, boys, girls, what’s allowed, what isn’t etc… Her dad and I are not ALWAYS POPULAR. LOL! I’m holding the reigns with a little slack ( cuz she’s a good girl ) but you can bet she’ll feel the bit from time to time! Like most girls, she can be a fiesty little filly! Thanks for the visit!

    Hugs, xo Deb


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